Press Release from Thompsons Solicitors - For Immediate Release
A Motherwell loch has partially reopened to the public after officials shut it down following a suspected outbreak of norovirus.
Seventy participants from across the country took part in a swimming competition at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell on June 23, following which 52 competitors fell ill with gastroenteritis and a further 5 were identified with norovirus.
Norovirus is a fast-spreading illness that affects a considerable number of people each year. The virus is usually transmitted by contaminated food or water, and outbreaks typically originate from unhygienic sources.
Sufferers of the virus experience vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, headaches and a fever. Symptoms last for around three days, however in some more serious cases dehydration, malnutrition and even death can occur.
A Motherwell Masters Amateur Swimming Club source said six members of their club took part and were “very ill.” They had to seek medical advice following the event and some were off work for a week, she added.
NHS Lanarkshire is investigating the cause of the outbreak, which is thought to be due to heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, the loch has re-opened to certain boats, but sports involving immersion in the loch will be restricted until official investigations conclude and water samples test clear.
This is the second high profile norovirus outbreak in Scotland this summer.
In May, more than 100 people connected with the exclusive Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire were struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea after a suspected outbreak of the norovirus at the world-famous venue.
A meeting with representatives from NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council to discuss the Motherwell incident is scheduled for Friday.
Thompsons Solicitors, which represents a number of victims of the Gleneagles outbreak earlier this summer, operates an emergency hotline for those affected by the norovirus. Patrick McGuire, partner at the firm, comments:
“This year norovirus, better known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, has had a spring in its step. The outbreaks in Scotland this summer show that the virus is fast becoming an all-year-‘round problem.
“As with the situation at Gleneagles, we’re concerned that outbreaks of this sort still occur despite strict laws and regulations being in place.
“The swimmers competing in the event late last month relied on officials providing them with clean, safe water to swim in, backed up by a rigorous health and safety regime and water monitoring systems.
“Although this outbreak is being attributed to a freak occurrence, the frequency, quality and assessment of water testing itself must be scrutinised.
“A vast proportion of those taking part in the swimming competition have been very sick and have missed work due to poor health. We have a telephone hotline for anyone seeking information on how to recover any costs, such as medical expenses or lost earnings as well as compensation.”
Thompsons hotline: 0800 0891331 Notes to editors:
To arrange further comments/quotes from Patrick McGuire, contact Tim Weir : e-mail